Identity Theft - Working with Law Enforcement
Who Investigates Identity Theft?
If you are a victim of identity theft you should contact your local police department or sheriff's office first to file a report. Under Florida's identity theft law, the report may be filed in the location in which the offense occurred, or, the county in which you reside.
It is important to remember to get a copy of the police report. Very often, the bank, credit card company, or others need proof of the crime in order to erase the debts created by the identity thief.
If you can't get a copy of the report, at least get the report number.
Who prosecutes identity theft?
Identity theft prosecutions are handled either by the State Attorney in the local judicial circuit, or the Office of Statewide Prosecution in the Attorney General's Office. The Office of Statewide Prosecution handles the prosecution of multi-circuit organized crime.
What are some tips regarding how to file a police report?
Provide documentation. Furnish as much documentation as you can to prove your case. Debt collection letters, credit reports, your notarized ID Theft Affidavit, and other evidence of fraudulent activity can help the police file a complete report.
Be persistent. Local authorities may tell you that they can't take a report. Stress the importance of a police report; many creditors require one to resolve your dispute. Also remind them that under their voluntary "Police Report Initiative," credit bureaus will automatically block the fraudulent accounts and bad debts from appearing on your credit report, but only if you can give them a copy of the police report.
Be a motivating force. Ask law enforcement to search the FTC's Consumer Sentinel ID Theft database for other complaints in your community. You may not be the first or only victim of this identity thief. If there is a pattern of cases, local authorities may give your case more consideration.
That's why it's also important for you to file a complaint with the FTC. Law enforcement agencies use complaints filed with the FTC to aggregate cases, spot patterns, and track growth in identity theft. This information can then be used to improve investigations and victim assistance. FTC's memorandum to police.